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Hot Tub Maintenance

Swimming Pools, Spas and Hot Tubs
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The main issues for hot tub maintenance involve the quality of the water and whether the hot tub itself has any buildup or rings that should be cleaned. A hot tub maintenance program should consider the following hot tub issues.

  • Sanitizing. This is crucial to stop the growth of bacteria and keep the hot tub clean. There are a variety of sanitizers to consider. The most commonly used is chlorine, but bromine is another choice, as is biguanide, which works to kill anything organic. Because it is not chlorine or bromine, it does not have the odors associated with those products. Make sure that you first use a test strip to detect the pH and other levels in your hot tub and following the readings to use the correct amount of sanitizer.
  • Change out the hot tub water. This is important for several reasons. First, it's impossible to keep your hot tub water clean and clear for an indefinite period using chemicals. Considering the oils and perspiration and dead skin and other organic matter that gets into your hot tub on a daily basis, changing out the water every 2 to 3 months, depending on how often the hot tub is used, is vital. Also, if you have the beginnings of hot tub rings, scaling or other markings on the inside of your tub, it is easy to clean when the tub is emptied.
  • Shock oxidizers. Using shock every week or so will attack the organic matter that enters your hot tub thanks to you, your family and friends. Cosmetics, lotions and skin oils all can work together to clog up a hot tub system, over time. The shock works on the bacteria and comes in either chlorine or non-chlorine types.
  • Maintain proper pH. The pH in your hot tub tells you whether the water is too acidic or contains too much alkaline. This is important because acidic water, if untreated over time, can also cause corrosion of the tub. Acidic water also can cause some skin discomfort. Water that has too much alkaline can lead to scaling and may leave stains on the hot tub's smooth acrylic surface. The pH test strip makes it simple and should be used daily. If the level falls below 7.2, your water is acidic and there is a product designed to raise the pH in hot tubs. If the level is above 7.8, your water has too much alkaline and you can turn to a pH product that lowers the pH level in hot tubs.
  • Calcium levels. This is what determines if your water is "hard" or "soft". The test strip will reveal the level of calcium and there are products you can apply to the hot tub to adjust the calcium levels.
  • Clean the hot tub filter. The filter should be cleaned at least monthly and perhaps more often. There are hot tub filter cleaners that can do the job. Change out the filter a couple of times a year.
  • Don't forget the hot tub cover. The hot tub cover protects the tub and prevents much of the evaporation that eats up your chemicals. But the cover must be cleaned, particularly due to exposure to the sun.

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